Superman had kryptonite. Thor has two copies of the gene ApoE4.
One is a fictional material. The other is a real-life genetic characteristic that signals a greater likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Chris Hemsworth, who plays the Norse warrior armed with a trademark hammer, recently learned he has copies of the gene, one from his mother and one from his father. The genetic rarity – carried by only 2% to 3% of the population – makes Hemsworth eight to 10 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s.
Learning the news, which came when he was undergoing blood tests for the Disney+ adventure and longevity documentary series, “Limitless,” Hemsworth has decided to take a break from his acting career.
From drugs that show promise against the disease’s symptoms to using artificial intelligence for early detection, CU Anschutz Medical Campus researchers have the devastating disease in their crosshairs. Here are a few of the many ways CU Anschutz researchers and personalized medicine experts are seeking ways to unlock improved treatments and the causes of Alzheimer’s.
Huntington Potter, PhD, director of the University of Colorado Alzheimer's and Cognition Center, conducts leading-edge research on Alzheimer's disease.